THE WORLD’S BEST BLIND MOUNTAIN BIKER
CNN’s Great Big Story profiles Instructor Visioneer Brian Bushway
From Great Big Story: Anyone who rides a mountain bike on downhill terrain knows how perilous it can be. Well, imagine riding downhill without being able to see. Brian Bushway is a pro at it. Named by Mountain Bike Magazine as the World’s Best Blind Mountain Biker, he lost his sight when he was 14. Wanting to discover alternative ways to explore the world, Bushway learned how to see with sound. Like bats, he relies on echolocation when he mountain bikes, using sound to locate objects.
Our thanks to Great Big Story for making this Descriptive Audio version of the profile, to show how content can be adapted for blind and visually impaired users.
You can view this video without audio descriptions: https://youtu.be/FWbWBWH8OYk
YOU DON’T NEED SIGHT TO FIND OPPORTUNITIES IN BLIND SPOTS
Senior Visioneer Brian Bushway is also one of the proudest legacies of the efforts by Daniel Kish to teach blind people to see with sound and to liberate themselves from traditional dependency and isolation.
One of our earliest students, Brian lost his sight at 14, and is living testimony to the self-directed independence that FlashSonar™ Echolocation can lead to. Brian uses his insights to help people find opportunities in their blind spots.
Through strength and perseverance he continued his high school education, and graduated from Pepperdine University in 2005.
Brian expresses himself in athletics by solo mountain biking, and has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines, including Bicycling Magazine, Los Angeles Sports & Fitness Magazine, The Free Library, and Psychology Today.
Once a daring in-line skater who mastered the halfpipe, he spent the first six months after he went blind “marooned on a couch listening to books on tape. I was just sort of stuck there. I was bored and missing out.” His sense of what was possible changed when he was introduced to [Daniel] Kish through the Braille Institute in Southern California.
“He was a role model,” Bushway says. “He lived independently, rode his bike everywhere, had gone to college on his own. I said to myself, This guy does it all. If he can figure out how, I can, too.”
Brian was one of first riders and organizers of Team Bat, a group of blind, solo mountain bikers and self-reliant athletes.
Brian appeared at a John Wooden charity function where he was introduced by John Naber, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, who indicated that if “Mountain Biking were an Olympic sport, Brian would definitely be there”.
Captain J. Charles Plumb USNR, (Ret.), the distinguished and honored former U.S. Navy fighter pilot and P.O.W., referred to Brian as “his hero”.
In 2019 he achieved his COMS (Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist) Certification. Congratulations Brian!
While at Pepperdine, Brian produced and hosted a college talk radio show which included commentary on current events and featured comedy bits.
Brian was also instrumental in shaping the Non-Profit Management course at Pepperdine. He worked hand in hand with the business professionals in the greater Los Angeles area, creating the first Community Partners Board.
Brian delivers activational workshops and presentations to a broad educational, corporate, and non-profit audiences, focusing on embracing life experience and maximizing the opportunities that life has to offer, with an insight to personal growth.
He engages and activates audiences with strategies to think and act like successful navigators of life.
Through his life story and personal demonstrations, he shares his insight into finding the opportunities that are located in peoples “blind spots”.
“It is in our blind spots”, he says, “where lies the untapped potential of additional growth. Once recognized that there is more to gain in all of us, the trick becomes acting on it and moving forward.”
Brian has taught the “Power of Positive Thinking” for the past several years at the Braille Institute of America.
In Feb 2010, Brian served as the Master of Ceremonies and Keynote speaker for the regional Braille Challenge, attended by more than 200 participants and their families.
Presently, Brian serves as a Perceptual Navigation Instructor for World Access for the Blind, a Los Angeles area-based 501(c)(3) Non-Profitorganization that teaches Perceptual Navigation and sensory awareness.
In addition to working with blind students from all backgrounds, Brian also serves as a teacher of sighted mobility instructors on the use of FlashSonar™ (a specialized form of Active Echolocation) and Perceptual Navigation strategies.
He designs and implements perceptual development plans for each client, and serves families by offering informational counseling and emotional support.
Brian has provided Perceptual Consulting for international organizations such as Calcutta Mercy Ministries in India. A book about distinctive individuals “Round Pizza in a Square Box” by Amitabh Singh was dedicated to Brian for the work he did in Kolkata.
He also worked with other organizations such as The Armenian Eye Care Project, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, and Visibility Scotland. He has helped them create blind mobility programs and education courses on FlashSonar™, Perceptual Navigation, and family coaching.
Brian has been featured in full length documentaries produced by Joni and Friends Ministries, BBC Switch ‘Teensville: Bat School For The Blind‘ for children and youth, Calcutta Mercy Ministeries, and Mosaic Ministeries, as well as a featured subject on The Doctors which is archived with a second video clip, National Geographic’s ‘You Can’t Lick Your Own Elbow‘, and Discovery Canada’s Daily Planet.
Among multiple television and radio programs, Brian has appeared on Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Fox News, CBS Medical Minute, BBC’s Extraordinary People: ‘The Boy Who Sees without Eyes’, RTL Network’s ‘Spiegel Magazin’, CNN/CNN International’s ‘Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta’, and NPR’s This American Life, and The Story on American Public Media.
BRIAN BUSHWAY: SENIOR PERCEPTUAL NAVIGATION VISIONEER | ACTIVATIONAL SPEAKER
Brian Bushway visioneers activational exchanges that explore attitudes of success, managing change, and learning to adapt to – and navigate – challenges that occasionally come along in life.
Brian’s life achievements are woven into great stories of success as an Activational Speaker.
BRIAN BUSHWAY: HIS CLICKS ECHO TO OVER 2 BILLION VIEWERS
Whether on his own, or as part of the Visioneers Team garnering over 26.7 million views in X Ambassador’s Renegades music video, Brian’s FlashSonar™ clicks have echoed globally via the top international TV, radio and online networks, including ABC Australia, CBS, CCTV, CNN, Discovery, Fox, National Geographic, NPR, RTL, Uproxx and many more.
CONGRATULATIONS DANIEL KISH AND BRIAN BUSHWAY
FOR 26.7+ MILLION VIEWS AS PART OF X AMBASSADORS’ RENEGADES!
OUR TEAM: THEY STARTED AS CLIENTS AND GREW INTO INSTRUCTORS
One of the proudest legacies of the decades-long efforts by Daniel Kish to teach blind persons to see with sound and to liberate themselves from the traditional cycles of isolated dependency, has been the team of Perceptual Navigation Visioneers he’s assembled from his students who have grown up with FlashSonar™ Echolocation and its NO LIMITS philosophy.
WE TEACH BLIND PERSONS TO SEE WITH SOUND
When it’s a beautiful day, our students see it in a new way.
Our scientifically-proven FlashSonar™ echolocation lights-up the brain’s Visual Cortex – the part normally used for vision – with audible spatial feedback, like flashes of light in the dark lighting-up the surrounding environment.
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